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Religious leaders committed to emphasize on tax sermons

Mwema Bahati:

Religious leaders committed to put much emphasis on tax compliance among their followers as their contribution to national development through tax compliance.

The pledge was made to Rwanda Revenue Authority during a tax dialogue held on Tuesday in Kigali, as the tax administration presented to them the status of tax collection and how they can use their influence as opinion leaders to improve tax compliance among their communities.

Bishop Ephrem Karuranga, the Legal Representative of ADEPR said that they teach their church members to get rid of all kinds of sins, adding that they will be including tax evasion as equal sin to be avoided.

He said: “Our church members know that there is no little and big sins in the face of God. We believe that they will also understand that being faithful regarding tax is also important.”

Sheikh Salim Hitimana, Representative of Rwandan Muslim community said that they are ready to sensitize all their followers on the goods of taxes and make them better tax compliant as they witness good outcomes of taxes.

Religious leaders agreed to commit a portion of their service time to teach taxes, requesting Rwanda Revenue Authority to provide them some teaching materials like videos to support their sermons.

Priest Vincent Gasana from Catholic Church said that they will find a way to pass the tax message in their different meetings.

The tax administration believes that religious leaders can contribute greatly to the increase of tax compliance as more than 95% of the Rwandan population is grouped in religions.

Deputy Commissioner General Pascal Ruganintwali stated: “Tax avoidance is a sin like any others. Stealing tax is one of the hindrances to faith. If all people can be faithful, we can collect more taxes.”

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